Enterprise Mobility: Apple`s iBooks 2, iBooks Author, iTunes U Highlight Education Event
Apple launched a new education initiative at a high-profile Jan. 19 event at New York City's Guggenheim Museum, focused on "reinventing textbooks and using technology to make the classroom more engaging for students. Led by Apple executives including Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, the presentation focused on three aspects: iBooks 2, designed to bring what was described as a "new textbook experience to the iPad; iBooks Author, which lets publishers and authors create interactive textbooks; and a revamped iTunes U, which gives educators the ability to distribute course materials and video or audio lectures. For days leading up to Apple's event, rumors leaked that the company was prepping something related to textbooks. Before his death, Apple CEO Steve Jobs long harbored an abiding interest in creating some sort of text-book related product. "He wanted to disrupt the textbook industry and save the spines of spavined students bearing backpacks by creating electronic texts and curriculum material for the iPad, read one passage in Jobs' recent biography by Walter Isaacson. At another point, Jobs "agreed with News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch that "the paper textbook business would be blown away by digital learning materials. The time has come to see whether the prophecy can indeed come true.